Textron Aviation appeared to have brought along the weather from its base in Wichita, Kansas for yesterday’s press briefing at Henderson Executive Airport in advance of the opening day of NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Las Vegas. Cold, blustery conditions rattled the tent at the company’s massive display where president and CEO Scott Ernest announced the introduction of a new, large-cabin Cessna Citation jet named the Hemisphere.
“The Citation Hemisphere is designed to transform this segment, offering customers the latest technology available and the widest cabin in its class,” Ernest said. A section of what will make up that 102-inch diameter cabin is on display. Textron Aviation is actively exploring options for avionics and power plants for the Hemisphere, but the airplane is designed to travel as far as 4,500 nm and is expected to have a max cruise speed of at least Mach 0.9. First flight is expected in 2019 with a price tag of about $35 million, Ernest said.
The Hemisphere will be the largest in a Citation sub-family of stand-up-cabin bizjets that also includes the Latitude, which achieved FAA certification in June, and the Longitude, the program of which Textron Aviation provided an update for at yesterday’s briefing as well.
Powered by Honeywell’s Fadec-equipped HTF7700L, the Longitude is on schedule to take flight next year. The aggressive development program, which Ernest said has about 500 engineers assigned to it, puts the airplane on track for entry into service in 2017. With a cruise speed of Mach 0.84 it is designed for a 3,400 nm range and a full fuel payload of 1,500 pounds.